>Weddings, The Chuckle Brothers and Today’s New Band – Dada Yakuza

>I’ve got to the age where all of your friends start to get married. At the weekend, I’m going to my third one this year. There was supposed to be a fourth, but the bride and groom-to-be got stroppy and split up. Once my initial disappointment at the vanished possibility of a free bar subsided, I was actually quietly pleased. Three weddings in one year is exhausting enough. God knows what it’s like for the bride and groom themselves (and that sentence, I’ve just realised, works both as a rhetorical musing and a statement).

From what I’ve seen this year, weddings are usually 10% for the couple’s benefit and 90% for everyone else’s. You might want to get married whilst wingwalking on a biplane over the Grand Canyon, dressed as Paul and Barry Chuckle, but the hard-earned familial clout of Auntie Mabel and Granny Ethel’s desire for a church wedding with meringue dresses will usually win out.

It makes me wonder if this same dilemma is broached by bands. Sure, most bands at the start just ‘play what we like playing, so if anyone else likes it, that’s a bonus,’ and most of them trot out that banality to the NME with ever-impressive gusto. But some bands must arrive at a point where they start playing to the gallery, or else there would be no explanation for Coldplay‘s transformation from mildly-interesting indie band to world-straddling MOR, AOR behemoth.

I think Today’s New Band, Dada Yakuza, are an example of a band that does both. It has to be for the crowd – music this brilliantly mental can only be designed with a roomful of heaving, sweaty bodies in mind. BUT – their music is so un-selfconscious in its slavish devotion to just getting on the dancefloor that it’s not worried about what other people think.

Perhaps they’ve managed to straddle the divide. Perhaps they don’t even think about it in the first place. Perhaps I’m just trying to read too much into their fabulously BANGIN’ CHOONZ.

With the latter thought in mind, it would be unfair to delve any further into their music, other than to say, it’s wonderfully messy, loud, ridiculous and stupid, in all the best kind of ways. Dada Yakuza are noisy, hard, carefree and intent on having a good time, and if you can find a better way to end the week then don’t click here. But I bet you can’t.

>The overthrowing of humanity by Muso-Robots, and Today’s New Band – ALASALAKALASKA

>Human bands are history! A bold proclamation, true, but look at the facts in this video of robo-band The Trons. At the very least, The Trons demonstrate that even crudely-cobbled together bits of old hoovers and Meccano can make better music than The Kooks. Final proof then, that when computers take over the planet and they become our MERCILESS ROBOT OVERLORDS, things won’t be so bad after all.

The Trons aren’t today’s new band, because whilst they are better than the majority of the lumpen nonsense-mongers that call themselves bands, robots just don’t count. When a robot is aware enough to find that comment discriminatory, I’ll alter my stance, but not before.

Today’s New Band are actually Alasalakalaska. No, I haven’t managed to say it out loud correctly yet either, and no, they’re not from professional moron Sarah Palin’s home state. It’s a complicated name which might make them virtually impossible to ever be found via Google, but maybe that’s what they want.

Actually, it’s supposed to be read ‘Alas, Alak, Alaska,’ which, whilst being much more coherent is actually a bit less fun to type. On that basis alone, I’ll stick with the long, incoherent spelling for now.

Alasalakalaska are a strange, pleasant combo of rigid beats, flautists, wobbly vocals and catchy tunes. Crystal Power Attack, woozy, dreamy and echoing, left me feeling slightly drunk and happily confused as it wove its way to a clinking, jolting end.

In Finick While Clicking It’s…, they are confident enough to bolt a lovely, looping quasi-chorus to a lovely, looping song, not worrying too much about traditional composition or structure. It sounds almost entirely new – it may as well have been written by a music-producing computer programme that hasn’t quite been finished yet. Perhaps today’s new band is The Trons after all.

This all means that today, I have learnt two things:

  1. Perhaps The Kooks should lock their instruments in a room with some old washing machines and grandfather clocks, and maybe they’ll release a half-decent album;
  2. Alasalakalaska are wonderful, lilting and overwhelmingly unusual, all of which are reasons enough to listen to their songs here!

>Today’s New Band – rs-232

>Electronic music often sounds soulless. Even though bands like Orbital managed to infuse something nearing humanity or nature into their music, the methods for producing electronic music ensure that its very nature is that of robotic precision. This isn’t to say humanity or soulfulness is necessary in music, just that, as music is an output for expression, it’s often tough to convey the feeling that fingers, thumbs and emotion have been involved in its creation.

Today’s New Band, rs-232, is ice-cold and precise. There doesn’t seem to be room for emotion or feeling in the music, but that’s a good thing, as it would seem wildly out of place in music this clean. This is what music made by robots would sound like. Precise, concise, calculated, metallic and shimmering. Song Ping manages to bounce, jitter and, yes, ping, but with a subtle funkiness, if that isn’t oxymoron-tastic.

However, it’s not funk that you’d want to leap up and frug to – this isn’t dancing music. What it does do is drag your mind away from wherever you are – you’ll soon be wandering around rigid and unknown corridors in your mind. Pending Authorisation is creepy, sparse and stark, with quiet clicks, pulse-like beats and chilly metallic sweeps.

rs-232 ‘s tunes may well turn out to be a sonic computer experiment. I half hope so. Listen to it all here, and try not to picture T-1000 from Terminator creeping up behind you as you listen.